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Could the Orioles find in-house replacements for Trumbo and Wieters?

Could the Orioles find in-house replacements for Trumbo and Wieters?

At least eight Orioles are likely to make more than $10 million next season, and if the team somehow re-signs both Mark Trumbo and Matt Wieters, which now seems unlikely, they’ll have 10.

Chris Davis ($23 mil), Adam Jones ($16.33 mil.), J.J. Hardy ($14 mil.) Ubaldo Jimenez ($13.5 mil) and Yovani Gallardo ($11 mil.) are guaranteed to be 10 figure guys. Zach Britton, Manny Machado and Chris Tillman all figure to cross the $10 million threshold since they’re arbitration eligible. 

Combine Wade Miley’s $8.92 million, Darren O’Day’s $7 million, and the Orioles would be obligated for perhaps $125-$130 million. 

Some of Davis’ and O’Day’s money is deferred, but it’s hard to see how the Orioles could re-sign both Wieters and Trumbo without significantly surpassing their approximately $150 million payroll in 2016. 

The biggest question this offseason will be, how will the Orioles replace both Wieters and Trumbo.

Wieters and the Orioles put the replacement question off for a year when they offered, and he accepted their qualifying offer. 

That won’t happen again this year, not with catcher-hungry teams already lining up to sign the most accomplished in a poor catching market. 

Trumbo’s power is likely to generate some major offers, too. 

The Orioles could go in-house with replacements. 

Trey Mancini is the most obvious alternative, and manager Buck Showalter will have to be convinced that he’s ready to be a major contributor at designated hitter next spring. 

Last spring, Mancini stayed at first base while Christian Walker was tried in the outfield. Walker’s numbers didn’t earn him a callup, but he’ll get another look in the spring if he’s not packaged during the winter. 

Mancini’s arm wasn’t judged to be strong enough to play in right field, and he’s not going to dislodge Chris Davis from first base. 

But, Mancini’s bat has members of the Orioles organization excited. He was added after Steve Pearce was lost for the season, and hit three home runs in five games. 

Mancini’s minor league resume is an impressive one. He has a .306 average. In 2015, Mancini led the Eastern League with a .359 average, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 57 runs in 84 games for Double-A Bowie. 

This year, he began the season with the Baysox, and hit .302 in 14 games before a promotion to Norfolk, where he hit .280 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs. 

Mancini did strike out 140 times in 142 games, but showed decent plate discipline with a .349 on-base average. 

If Mancini could replace Trumbo, could the Orioles also have a catcher to replace Wieters? 

Chance Sisco’s supporters in the organization point to his bat as evidence. 

He has a .323 average in four seasons of minor league ball and an outstanding .402 on-base average. 

In 2014, Sisco hit .340 at Delmarva, .308 at Frederick in 2015 before he was sent to Bowie, and .320 with the Baysox this season. 

Sisco’s defense is the big question. While his bat has played everywhere, it would seem difficult for a catcher to make the transition to the big leagues without any real Triple-A experience. (Sisco did play four games for the Tides at the end of the season.) 

Triple-A is full of pitchers who have major league experience, and it might help Sisco to have some time at Triple-A in 2017 to work with some of those pitchers. while the Orioles use perhaps a placeholder to pair with Caleb Joseph. 

At last Thursday’s season-ending news conference, Dan Duquette spoke about the depth of catching in the Orioles organization, citing not only Sisco, but Francisco Pena, who backed up Wieters after Joseph suffered a testicular injury as well as minor league catchers Audry Perez, Alex Murphy and Yermin Mercedes. 

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles begin search to replace Wallace

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Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

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USA Today Sports

Wade Miley roughed up again, Orioles shut out in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison homered Friday night and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched third place in the AL East with a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Longoria led off the fifth with his 20th homer off Baltimore starter Wade Miley, marking Longoria's fifth straight 20-homer season and the ninth of his 10-year career.

RELATED: WILD CARD RACES WITH THREE DAYS REMAINING

Morrison hit his 38th homer off reliever Chris Tillman in the seventh.

Rays starter Jake Odorizzi left his final start of the season after four innings with a sore right knee.

Brad Boxberger (4-4) got the win as the first of four Tampa Bay relievers.

Miley (8-15) lost his fifth straight start, giving up four runs and five hits in four innings. He walked five, raising his major league-leading total to 93. The Baltimore bullpen gave up five more walks.

Trey Mancini had one of Baltimore's four hits. It was Mancini's 158th hit, tying Cal Ripken (1982) for second-place all-time among Oriole rookies.

The Orioles, shut out for the 11th time, lost for the 17th time in 21 games and dropped three games behind Tampa Bay with two games left in the season.

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with three days left

With the MLB postseason only five days away and three more days in the regular season the playoff field is almost set.

After Thursday night’s action, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Their 2-1 loss to the Cubs put them too far out of reach of the Rockies.

In the American League the AL East race is all but done after the Yankees lost on Thursday.

RELATED: NEW MLB BRACKET PROJECTION WITH ONE WEEK TO GO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Not too many changes in the American League race after yesterday.

The New York Yankees (89-70) lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at home after entering the day only three games back in the division. While the Boston Red Sox (92-67) lost too, three games to surpass is too much for even the Bronx Bombers to overcome.

It will be interesting though to watch both teams sweat. Boston hosts the Houston Astros who are trying to overtake the Indians for the top seed in the AL. New York hosts division rivals Toronto.

The Minnesota Twins (83-76) lost to the Indians after allowing 10 hits in the contest. Win or lose it does not matter how they end the season because they will be the No. 5 seed and the visitors in the American League Wild Card Game. Presumably it will be against the Yankees.

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

New York Yankees:     +6.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado was off on Thursday night in preparation for their final series of the year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Brewers (84-75) did manage to gain a half game with their nail biting 4-3 win over the Reds. Brett Phillips hit a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the final three frames remained scoreless for both squads.

They now move to two games back of the Colorado Rockies (86-73) with three games to go.

Colorado will host their final series against the Dodgers. Milwaukee is traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals (82-77) for their final three games. St. Louis is now out of contention, four games out of the final Wild Card spot.

FanGraphs.com now has Colorado at a 93.3 percent chance of taking the final postseason spot.  Milwaukee moved up slightly to 6.7 percent.

MORE NATS: WALK-OFF FOR THE NATS, COURTESY OF DE AZA

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 29):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -2.0